Injured workers are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits for virtually all on-the-job injuries or work-related illnesses. This includes slip-and-fall accidents at construction jobsites.
The question concerning a construction accident often isn’t a matter of “if” you are entitled to compensation, but “who” owes you compensation. Due to New York’s complex labor laws, the answer to this question isn’t always straightforward.
Workers’ Compensation from Your Employer
The company that employs you for construction work should carry workers’ compensation insurance. In the event of a work-related injury or illness, this insurance may provide you with medical care, rehabilitation and cash payments in the form of disability benefits.
As long as you were acting within your job duties when you slipped and fell over stray tools and materials, you’re probably covered by workers’ compensation. Workers’ comp is a no-fault system, which means that you do not have to prove negligence on the part of your employer or a co-worker.
However, you may find that the workers’ comp disability benefit—which typically covers two-thirds of your average wages up to a limit —is not enough. For severe injuries, it’s in an injured worker’s best interest to explore additional sources of potential compensation.
Compensation in a Third-Party Construction Accident Lawsuit
A slip-and-fall accident at a construction site may entitle you to bring a lawsuit against a contractor or a property owner under New York Labor Law Section 241(6). But in order for one of these parties to be liable under the Labor Law, a worker must prove that the injuries were caused by a violation of an Industrial Code provision.
Section 23-1.7(e) (1) of the Industrial Code states: “All passageways shall be kept free from accumulations of dirt and debris and from any other obstructions or conditions which could cause tripping.”
Section 23-1.7(e) (2) states: “The parts of floors, platforms and similar areas where persons work or pass shall be kept free from accumulations of dirt and debris and from scattered tools and materials and from sharp projections insofar as may be consistent with the work being performed.”
A failure to comply with these or any other provisions of the Industrial Code could impose vicarious liability on a property owner and/or contractor and give rise to a personal injury lawsuit under New York Labor Law. However, the worker’s comparative negligence (his or her own fault in the slip-and-fall accident) could reduce the total amount of a settlement or award.
Know Your Rights. Speak With an Attorney.
The complex web of state and federal regulations that govern New York construction site accidents can make it difficult to determine liability and possible sources of compensation for injured workers.
An experienced NYC personal injury lawyer at David Resnick & Associates, P.C., can help you understand your legal rights and options and assist you in the filing of a lawsuit against a responsible third party. To learn more through a free case review, contact us now by phone or online.